Author Archives: Stephanie

Blueberry-Zucchini Bread

Photo from My Baking Addiction

I first came across the idea of blueberry zucchini bread a while back, but many of the recipes out there are surprisingly unhealthy, considering the star ingredients are a fruit and a veggie. So when I went looking for a lightened-up version, I turned to My Baking Addiction. I’ve said before that I don’t do a lot of baking, but when I do, I often visit this site. Her recipes are delicious and her photos are lovely, too (don’t you love the one I showcased above?).

This version of blueberry-zucchini bread was just what I was looking for. Not overly sweet, it only calls for 1 cup of sugar (half white, half brown), and uses half white, half whole wheat flour to add a little extra fiber. It’s a perfect way to use up a bounty of blueberries and zucchini as well as sneak veggies into a snack kids will love, but adults love it smeared with a little butter along with their morning coffee. Well, I do at least. I guess I can’t speak for the whole adult population, but I’m sure many of them would agree with me.

Blueberry-Zucchini Bread (from My Baking Addiction)

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar; lightly packed
1 cup shredded zucchini
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.

Bake 55-65 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

– Stephanie

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Local Box Meal Plan: July 11-15

Nectarines – Cooper Farm
Blueberries – Berry Best
Basil – Liedeker Farm
Potatoes – Acadian Family Farm
Assorted Peppers – Comanche Creek
Purslane – My Father’s Farm
Juliet Tomatoes – Hillside Farm
Eggplant – Fruitful Hill Farm
Figs – Texas Natural / Cooper Farm

Nectarine-basil lemonade – A refreshing summer drink.

Fresh fig and blueberry clafoutis – A clafoutis is a a custardy French dessert, and a perfect way to showcase figs and blueberries at their peak.

Eggplant, tomato, and pepper casserole – This recipe includes yummy sausage, adding a bit of heartiness. Use fresh pureed tomatoes instead of canned.

Grilled zucchini salad with purslane and tomato – Purslane has a pleasant lemony flavor. I find it works best raw as an accent in salads such as this.

– Stephanie

Fig-Almond Cookies

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So, the almond part of these cookies came about by accident. I knocked a bottle of vanilla off of the counter and was left wondering if I should just omit the extra flavoring, or find a substitute. I spotted a bottle of almond extract in the pantry and figured I’d give it a go. Happily, it worked! If I’d thought about it at the time, I would have stirred in some sliced almonds too, but I did not, so we’ll save that addition for another day.

I don’t do a ton of baking, but when I was getting started with these cookies Ryan asked if he could help, and I was reminded how fun it is for kids to help out in the kitchen. Sure, the process usually goes slower and you usually end up with flour in your hair, but hey, it’s all in a day’s work. Some things he was able to do:

  • Unwrap butter and put it in the mixing bowl
  • Pour sugar and flour into the bowl
  • Pour the cracked egg into the bowl
  • Turn on the mixer
  • Count out how many eggs, cups of flour, sugar, etc. we needed

The hard part for kids (at least, for mine) is waiting for the cookies to bake. Luckily these guys only take 10 minutes. They come out soft and delicious, just how a cookie should be.

Fig-Almond Cookies (adapted from Seasonal Chef)

1 cup chopped fresh figs
1/3 cup water
1 cup room-temperature butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375. Bring water and figs to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened (about 5 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Beat butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and almond extract. Blend well. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the cooled figs. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Wait a few minutes, then remove cookies and cool on wire racks.

– Stephanie

Local Box Meal Plan: July 4-8

Hope everyone had a great holiday! I’ll be enjoying my melons simply cubed and raw, but here are some great recipes for the rest of our ingredients.

Yellow Peaches – Caskey Orchards
Blueberries – Berry Best
Assorted Summer Squash – Massey Farm
Yukon Potatoes – Tecolote Farm
Eggplant (Assorted) – Fruitful Hill Farm & Animal Farm
Armenian Cucumber – Fruitful Hill Farm
Juliet Tomatoes – Hillside Farm
Summer Peas – Just Peachy Farm
Cantaloupe OR Sugar Baby Watermelon – Massey Farm

Sun-dried Juliet tomatoes – This is a super-interesting recipe for sun-dried tomatoes dried using the heat inside your car, accompanied by a few recipes to use your newly dried tomatoes. If you’re more of a traditionalist, just pop the sliced tomatoes in your oven on its lowest setting for a couple of hours.

Cucumber-tomato salad – Make a simple salad with peeled Armenian cukes, sliced black olives (if you like them), tomatoes, Italian dressing, and salt/pepper.

Orecchiette with caramelized fennel and summer veggies – Orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian and refers to the shape of the pasta. It can be difficult to find (and expensive when you do find it) so sub spiral or wagon wheel pasta if you’d like.

Herbed summer squash and potato torte – From one of my favorites, Smitten Kitchen.

Baked blueberry-peach oatmeal – This calls for canned peaches, but just use sliced fresh ones instead. I wouldn’t bother peeling them, but I don’t mind a little peach fuzz.

Local Box Meal Plan: June 27-July 1

Sorry about getting this to you a day late!

White Peaches – Cooper Farms 
Blueberries – JB Organic 
Assorted Summer Squash – Gundermann Acres 
Purple Viking Potatoes – Tecolote Farm 
Carrots w/ tops – Gundermann Acres  
Red & Yellow Onion – Gundermann Acres 
Juliette Tomatoes – Hillside Farm 
Garlic Chives – Tecolote Farm 
Summer Peas – Just Peachy Farm 
Garlic – Rim Rock Farm

White peach sangria – What an awesome summer drink. This version uses peach vodka in addition to fresh peaches.

Blueberry buckle – Also called blueberry coffee cake. Alton Brown knows what he’s doing.

Mom’s summer squash – Not my mom, Elise’s mom from Simply Recipes.

Easy crockpot pot roast– Throw some garlic in for extra flavor. With the crockpot, you can cook delicious pot roast in the summer without heating up your kitchen.

Whole wheat couscous with lemon, peas, and chives – Cook your peas before adding them to this light, summery side dish from Bon Appetit.

– Stephanie

Peach-Blueberry Pancakes

I don’t have a photo of these because, frankly, these were pretty non-photogenic pancakes. It’s probably because I cooked them in bacon grease, which made them taste awesome but not have that lovely golden-brown color that butter-cooked pancakes get.

Anyway, looks aside, these are some delicious pancakes. I just added peaches, blueberries, and cinnamon to the traditional Bisquick pancake recipe, then cooked the cakes in bacon grease that was left in the pan from a batch of porky goodness. You can certainly use butter if you prefer; I just like the little smokiness that the bacon grease provides.

Peach-Blueberry Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 pint blueberries
2 peaches, pitted and chopped (I didn’t peel them, but it’s fine if you want to)

Combine all ingredients except fruit, stirring just until the mixture is moist. Stir in fruit.

Meanwhile, cook a batch of bacon in a large skillet and remove bacon strips to drain. Pour bacon fat into a container and reserve, leaving a little fat in the pan. Add pancake batter by the 1/4 cup (I can fit about three at a time in my pan). Cook until the edges are dry and the top is full of bubbles, about 1 minute. Flip and cook another minute.

Continue cooking pancakes in batches until they’re all done, adding a little bacon grease to the pan if necessary. They’ll probably be dark brown and splotchy in color, but who cares when you have pancakes that taste like heaven?

– Stephanie

Local Box Meal Plan: June 20-24

Peaches – Caskey Orchards 
Blueberries – JB Organic
Assorted Summer Squash – Gundermann Acres and Texas Natural 
Basil – Pure Luck 
Fennel – Bar W 
Avocado – G&S Groves 
Tomatoes – ABJ Farm and My Father’s Farm 
Black Radish – My Father’s Farm   
Summer Peas – Just Peachy Farm OR Engel Farms
Indian Cucumber – My Father’s Farm   

Peach-blueberry pie – Let me know if you’re getting tired of peach/blueberry combo recipes. I just love the two together in the summer. You can use store-bought pie crust here if you don’t want to make your own.

Chicken penne with basil

Spanish-style stuffed bell peppers

Cucumber, carrot, and radish salad with creamy avocado dressing – You can peel the Indian cucumbers and eat them in the salad raw, as you would a regular cucumber. If you don’t have crème fraiche on hand (and who usually does?) just sub sour cream. Or even whole milk.

– Stephanie